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Local Lowe’s helps Cape stock up for impending hurricane season

By Staff | May 31, 2009

What do bottled water, tarps, first-aid kits, batteries, generators, radios and storm shutters made of various materials have in common with one another?
Aside from all being important items to have stocked this hurricane season, they’re all items you can get at Lowe’s. And they’re all items Lowe’s has gone out of its way to make available and easy to use.
Hurricane safety is the name of the game from June 1 to Nov. 30 each year–marking what may feel like the marathon-distance length of the official Atlantic Hurricane season–and Lowe’s considers itself a key player here in Southwest Florida.
That’s why Lowe’s held their annual hurricane safety tent event Saturday and Sunday afternoons, where employees gave useful information about the store’s hurricane gear, according to Jerry Ayers, manager of the Lowe’s at 1651 N.E. Pine Island Road.
“We do it to bring awareness that the storms are going to be coming, and to take the necessary steps to prepare for it, and at the same time to educate the public on what’s available to them for resources throughout the Cape area,” Ayers said.
But don’t worry if you missed the event; Ayers said the stores would have plenty of opportunities to find hurricane supplies inside and plenty of employees on hand to spread their knowledge of storm safety.
Most importantly, Ayers said, preparation is key.
“Be prepared when the storm hits so all they have to do set up and be prepared rather than start coming out and trying to find tarps when there’s none that existed because everyone else cleaned them out.”
Ayers said the store has an emergency program in place, so that if a storm is imminent they’ll have enough supplies for everyone, but last minute shopping means you might not get exactly what you’re looking for and will be forced to deal with alternative solutions.
However, Ayers said he believes Cape Coral residents seem to already be aware of the perks of preparedness.
“This year there’s been much more awareness,” he said. “It seems like the general public is much more aware of the hurricane season this year than they were last year.”
For those who weren’t aware and wanted to be, Customer Service Associate Bob Paczkowski had set up shop under a blue tent in front of the store, a large amount of the space taken up by a massive generator the store offers to power an entire household during a power outage. In front, behind and to the sides were pamphlets and brochures and various items the store offers, including a crank-operated weather radio that doesn’t require batteries, different types of shutter systems and even a garage door brace.
“That’s one of the… weakest parts of your home — the garage door,” Paczkowski said. “A lot of people don’t really realize that. Put a couple of these braces on there, if you have a two-car garage. That will really secure your home.”
Another Lowe’s in Cape Coral, located at 285 S.W. 25th Lane, also held a tent event Saturday and Sunday.
The stores will be selling hurricane supplies at 10 percent off their usual prices through June 7.